A barefoot bride & her long-sleeved Mariana Hardwick Wedding Dress for A Romantic Forest Elopement

Spontaneity is the theme of Adam and Sunny’s relationship, and their elopement was no different! From the unexpected (yet oh-so-romantic!) proposal to an impulsive stop into a bridal boutique yielding the perfect Mariana Hardwick wedding gown, this couple knows how to go with the flow. Fate certainly dabbled a bit in their plans for a magical, secluded getaway wedding. Fall in love with their story as they describe their elopement to Erskine Falls, and learn how they maintained stress-free while keeping their love and individuality at the center of their special day. Fred + Hannah photographed the images we can’t stop staring at.

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Q : How did the two of you meet?
A : I had just moved back from a working holiday in NZ and got a full time job at a local business in town which was run by Adams family. The rest as they say, is history.

Q :. How did he propose?
A : We went out for a drive one night which wasnt out of the ordinary, we drove all around Melbourne. All through the Dandenong Ranges and then eventually ended up in Port Melbourne late at night, where we went for a walk out on the pier. We were talking and laughing and enjoying the moment when Adam started telling me how much he loved me, and I kept cutting him off, agreeing with things he was saying, and then he told me that he was trying to tell me something and that I needed to listen. Then he got on 1 knee and asked me to marry him, being very careful not to drop the ring through the boards on the pier to the water below. I said yes of course 🙂

Q : How did you choose your dress?
A : Funny story. My friend suggested she take me to Mariana Hardwick for a “fun look” as I was now engaged. I initially resisted but gave in and we wandered in there one saturday morning and asked nicely if we could have a browse. I noticed a dress on the mannequin straight away and loved it but thought it wasn’t what I had envisioned myself wearing. I also seen a few dress that I thought we more my style. My friend asked the young girl at the counter if we could get an appointment, not thinking we had a chance. She called upstairs and luckily someone was able to give us a half hour appointment. It turned out to be Mariana Hardwick‘s daughter, Clara Hardwick. I tried on the dresses I thought I would like but they did not suit me at all. I hesitantly agreed to try on one last dresss, the dress from the mannequin. The sample was a size too small but I knew even when she only half had it on that it was “the one”. I thought to myself, UH-OH. Obviously as we didn’t have any wedding plans as yet, I didn’t order the dress that day. I went home and told Adam I had good …. and bad news; I had found “The Dress” but that it was at a designer wedding dress shop. I tried on a few other dresses after that but none came remotely close to the one. A few weeks later, I ordered the dress and made some changes so that it complimented my shape and over the next 4 months, had numerous fittings until it was ready and perfect. The made to measure experience is something I’ll never forget. Even though I didnt have mum there to experience all of this with me, the ladies there really made me feel at ease.

Q : What made you choose your wedding theme?
A : We didnt have a theme, more of a vibe…We wanted our day to be a happy and relaxed one. We refused to worry about weather and anything else beyond our control, although we were blessed with a magical melbourne day. We didn’t want either of us to be stressed and we think that came across in our photos.

Q : Why did you choose your wedding and reception venue?
A : Once we decided we were going to elope, we knew wanted to have a location that was ultra dreamy. We drove around Victoria in the months before looking for the right location. We needed it to work logistically and also I knew I wanted to only get into my dress only once at the location, no sooner, so that made it more difficult. After 2 months and different forests and falls we knew Erskine Falls was the perfect place for us. It wasn’t too long a walk in, it was lush, mossy, with just the right amount of waterfall. It screamed romance.

Q. What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?
A : As we eloped, the entire day felt focused solely on us so there are a lot of amazing memories.
For me (Adam) it was turning around and seeing Sunny for the first time as she walked out on the rocks towards me. She looks absolutely stunning I couldn’t wait for her to be my wife.

For me (Sunny) it was while I was saying my vows. We both wrote very raw, heartfelt vows and I was really struggling to get through mine. At one point while remembering my mum I got very upset but having Adam there telling me that I was doing an amazing job and that I could take as long as I needed to get through it and to just breathe, while wiping my tears, really helped me. I would not have been able to do it without him.

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Photographer : Fred + Hannah
Wedding Dress : Mariana Hardwick
Shoes : didn’t wear any 🙂
Groom’s suit : MJ Bale
Hairdresser : Teneile Robinson
Makeup artist : Livia Milazzo
Wedding rings : Mazzuchelli’s
Videographer : Humdrum Films
Florist : Pomp and Splendou
Celebrant : Lindsay Carroll
Honeymoon : 6 weeks in Europe – self planned
Jewellery : Earrings as gift from Adam on first valentines day gift we spent together.  Can’t remember where from.  The other ring I wore was my mums ring she gave to me before she passed away.  Memory Charms on bouquet of my mother and younger brother, and inside Adam’s suit jacket of his grandparents, from Bridal Bling Australia

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